Royal Agricultural University

The Royal Agricultural University gained Centre of Excellence status for Enterprise in 2019 from the  Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE), the only small specialist to gain this recognition. The RAU offers an extra-curricular programme which nurtures the entrepreneurial talent of all our students, as well as providing a platform to enable progression of a business idea via support activities and competitions structured across our “Think, Try, Launch, Grow” framework.  Supports includes our practical Wednesday workshop series, First Steps proof of concept fund (£250), entrepreneurs in residence, as well as getting involved in our two social enterprises; Cotswold Hills wine and Muddy Wellies ale.

Our social enterprise projects allow students to develop their enterprise and employability skills, whether selling products, supporting new product development or developing our new marketing material.  Our newest social enterprise Cotswold Hills is an award winning English wine which is grown on the University’s vineyard on the outskirts of Cirencester.  To date Cotswold Hills is listed in over 75 outlets around the Cotswold region including Gloucester M5 services and Mid-Counties Co-Op stores, it currently consists of 3 products including an innovative fizzy wine in a can which was developed in a second year Business Management module.  From every bottle of Cotswold Hills sold £1 goes into the RAU’S First Steps Fund to support students wanting to start their own businesses.  Similarly, Muddy Wellies which is a craft ale and was launched in 2006 is also sold across the region including 3 Waitrose stores and 10p per bottle sold goes into the RAU First Steps Fund.

The RAU has also launched a new BSc(Hons) Rural Entrepreneurship and Enterprise undergraduate course which supports those interested in starting a business or social enterprise, taking over a business or diversifying a rural business such as a farm or small holding.

For queries, please contact Katy Duke (Head of Enterprise) on